All posts filed under: Happiness at Home

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Does it Spark Joy?

  I pretty much have just enough time to maintain the status quo, meaning I can get what NEEDS to get done–done, but beyond that, Oy Vay. I have to remind myself that life is too short to obsess about the unfinished petty stuff–dusty baseboards, scuffed up walls, a playroom that looks like it was “tossed” by the Feds, etc… It’s all just a byproduct of a much loved home, right?  I, do, however, constantly try to find ways to minimize extra angst in my life. I mean life is not always very easy. The last thing I need is my own home to bring me down, stress me out, and be a giant buzz kill when sometimes everyone and everything else is jockeying for that position. So I keep hearing about this book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo. Her essential question is ‘Does this spark joy?’ “Keep only the things that speak to your heart, then take the plunge and discard all the rest,” she advises. “When you put your …

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7 Tips for Combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder

The days being shorter, colder temperatures, less (or no) sunlight and you have the recipe for what many experience as the blahs, seasonal funk, winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).  SAD is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year–despite the lack of sunlight with these tips: 1. A Light Box.  Light therapy is thought to affect brain chemicals linked to mood, easing SAD symptoms. Using a light therapy box may also help with other types of depression, sleep disorders and other conditions. A light box mimics outdoor light. Researchers believe this type of light causes a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD. Most people use light boxes for a minimum of 30 minutes each morning. …

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Kicking the Decorating Rut…The Conclusion

Our homes are part of our self-definition. If you are in a decorating rut I am sure this is not good news. I can almost hear the snarky comments you are making about yourself and how that explains a lot about your current situation. I am a super impatient person. I always say in interview speak “I am results oriented”.  I need everything done yesterday and if it isn’t I feel practically hopeless. There is an African fable that stays with me about a tribesman who had never seen modern Western life and the entirety of his life was in the now. He was trapped in a large cave where he could only see the sky. The man could not understand the temporariness of his situation and thought his life would always be like this so he promptly died. He fully lived in the present and had no concept of waiting for tomorrow. Normally, I’m all for living in the now, but if you don’t have the money for decorating fixes, you, like the tribesman …

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Super Hero

I got a new picture to remind me that I can do great things.  I can’t write right now because I am trying to do great things.  Actually, I am trying to get to the great things, first I need to do laundry.

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21 Things That Make Me Happy

    I’m chuckling as I write this post. Not because that video was funny, but because of you gentle reader who is getting all riled up at his mere image. But hey, this is not that kind of blog and this is not that kind of post. This isn’t about politics. I happen to like him as a person–I spent 30 minutes with him one day having coffee and he was f-u-n-n-y. But this isn’t about that either. Nor is it about the Presidential motorcade that I drove in that was totally AWESOME. It’s about laughing. Take your To Do list and stick it in the freezer. Now get a scrap of paper and write down some things that make you happy. Don’t over think it. Here’s some of mine: Late night shows.  (Recorded) Sleep. Good coffee. Having time to do something creative. Watching a good movie with my husband with real popcorn (no microwave crap), a Pims cup (google it), and my dog (kids can be optional). Going to dinner and a movie …

Jennifer Farlin

Live Your Fun

Cue me singing in an operatic voice. Cue sunshine streaming. Orchestra music swells. Drumroll. Joyousness resounding. Puppies leaping. Kittens rolling. Happy. Bright. Colombian Coffee and Cocktails for all my friends! This is what it’s like over here…Bella Home Staging moved to a new place.  Where everybody knows your name, it is EASY being green (shout out to Kermit), and the grass is greener on OUR side–not the other.  There are no mean girls, bad bosses, to do lists don’t exist, and the laundry is always finished.  We have butlers over here filling up your cup so it’s always full–none of this half empty crappola–ain’t nobody got time for that. We are practically at the corner of happy and healthy–move over Walgreens. We still like coveting other people’s mighty fine homes, we still aspire for good taste and style…life is too short for ugly, and we still think our deep thoughts.  But we do it with a mariachi band and a margarita now. Whoop Whoop! Our new place is Live Your Fun.  We like mixing it …

Spring Staging and Redesign Decorating Tips

  Today I hauled out a desk I’ve had since college and painted it white.  I’m getting ready for our new home in DC.  The to do list that I’ve been staring at suddenly doesn’t have me beat anymore.  I’m ready for some change.  Sunshine and warm weather do that after a long, long winter.  I’m ready to tackle some projects and ready for action–says the sedentary girl sitting on the couch with her laptop with a cup of coffee and the Today show…  I’m currently living in a house that is up for sale.  Last June I was living in a different house that was up for sale.  Golly, it would be awesome if I can spend every spring prepping for buyers.  Not to brag, but I sort of kind of a little bit always have a nice house.  I follow my own advice.  At least I do.  My kids, not so much. EVERY single house I stage the owners always say the same thing—I wish we had made these changes earlier so WE …

Top 5 Decorating Tips for Fabulous Rooms that Look Like YOU

  It’s time for the Top 5 Decorating Tips for Fabulous Rooms that Look Like YOU—or how to not be boring.  I so hate boring.  Who has time for boring?  Life is too short for boring.  Let’s put some zip in it.  Let’s put some fun with it.  So without further ado… 5.  Something Old.  Ever walk into someone’s perfect house and feel like you are in a furniture showroom?  Or a model for new construction?  I get the willies just thinking about it.  You know what would shake that off?  Something old. Something old and painted with chippy paint is awesome.  Something old and quirky is awesome.  Something from a junk store or flea market that is random and old is awesome. Something with some history…something with layers and time and grit and experience.  Something that says I have seen life man and I have survived.  Got it?   4.  Something New.  Now if everything in your room was old and gritty and chippy and quirky–it would just be weird.  It would be too much. …

Winter Go Away. Why the Beach Makes Us Happy. And Rooms with a View.

Brooklyn Interior Designers & Decorators LKID   Once upon a time I was in Hawaii.  The breezes were warm as I parted fuchsia flowering vines and walked onto a white sand beach with turquoise and emerald green water.  I had just eaten an avocado burger in a beach shack on the North Shore.  Nobody needed me to do a thing.  I had no watch.  My only plans were dinner later and a drive back down through the island…where the wait staff waited. How about a tropical beach with crystal blue warm waters, white sand, gentle breezes, in an exotic location with few people and lots of good food…and drinks…and people waiting to wait just on you?  I don’t want all the hassle of packing and planning.  I want to be beamed there like in Star Trek and then back before homework and kids stuff starts…or maybe just after;)  Actually maybe I do want a week.  But then there is reintegration after it’s over. Back to busy, back to noise, and back to stress. Why can’t …

Happiness is Learning to Love What You Have

Sometimes life is so crazy it’s hard to celebrate what’s right.  A few years ago my husband was in a terrible accident, my mom had ovarian cancer, and I was a military mom on my own taking care of two little boys.  And those are just some of the bullet points that come to mind. The nitty gritty of the in between felt even worse.  Way worse. So. Much. Worse. It’s almost so absurd that I kind of, well, laugh.  I mean what’s the alternative?  Fall apart?  I don’t know about you but most of the time, especially with a deployed husband, there are no safety nets. If you fall…well, it’s just that much further you have to climb to get back up. Better to hang on. Better to laugh. I love my friend Mony.  We do a phenomenal job of laughing together.  I went to DC this past weekend and did some house hunting while staying with her.  We laughed until we cried one night over a memory involving a past deployment, a boat …